Colonialism – the foundation of Western prosperity?

28 May 2024, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: IEA 2 Lord North Street ( entrance on Great Peter Street) London SW1 3LB

Think tank: Institute for Government

This event hosted by UK think tank the Institute for Economic Affairs discusses the role of empire in the Industrial Revolution.

We are delighted to invite you to a panel discussion on the economics of empire. The question of how Britain and other western nations became rich is topic of significant debate both inside and outside of academia. One of the areas of fiercest disagreement is over the role of empire in the Industrial Revolution. Was colonialism a marginal distraction that enriched a few at the expense of the taxpayer or a key component in the creation of modern economic growth?

The Institute of Economic Affairs is hosting a panel discussion followed by a Q&A to attempt to disentangle some of these questions.


Dr Victoria Bateman – Economic historian and author of The Sex Factor: How women made the west rich.

Dr Lawrence Goldman – former Director of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Dr Zareer Masani – writer and broadcaster, author of Macaulay: Britain’s Liberal Imperialist and Indian Tales of the Raj.

Dr Kristian Niemietz – IEA Editorial Director, author of Imperial Measurement: A cost-benefit analysis of Western colonialism.